Pasta Shells With Ricotta-Spinach Filling and Fresh Basil

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Pasta Shells With Ricotta-Spinach Filling and Fresh Basil

Cook pasta shells in plenty of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, 12 to 15 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain.


Chop spinach in food processor. Transfer to bowl and stir in Romano cheese, garlic, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Add ricotta and mix well.


Gently toss pasta shells in oil. Put 2 slightly rounded tablespoons of cheese-spinach mixture in each of 16 pasta shells. Close shells, slightly overlapping 1 side of each.


Spread 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce evenly in bottom of 13x9-inch shallow baking dish. Arrange shells, rounded side down, in single layer over sauce. Spoon remaining 1/2 cup sauce evenly over shells. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan over sauce. Cover with foil. (If made ahead, bring to room temperature before baking.)


Bake covered at 350 degrees until sizzling, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve hot.

The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. Cook all 20 shells, even though you will be using only 16. Some inevitably fall apart during stuffing.

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